Courtesy: Sports Illustrated (Click image to enlarge)
After a sparkling regular season that may earn him a Vezina Trophy, New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist earned a spot on the cover of Sports Illustrated this week.
The last Ranger to appear on the magazine's cover was Wayne Gretzky on April 26, 1999, in recognition of his retirement from the NHL.
Lundqvist and the Rangers will start their postseason Thursday night (7 ET, NHLN) against the Ottawa Senators in Game 1 of their Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series. Lundqvist set career-highs in wins (39) goals-against average (1.97) and save percentage (.930) this season.
Lundqvist's cover is one of two Sports Illustrated will issue this week. Golfer Bubba Watson, who won The Masters on Sunday, will appear on the other cover.
I downplayed the first one because I thought it's just a hockey game. We just want to win the game; it's against our rival and we want the two points. I downplayed it, but now having gone through the first one I look back and say, 'Geez, that was really cool.' I think as I've grown a bit older I've got a lot more appreciation for what we're allowed to do every day.
— Capitals forward Brooks Laich on the 2015 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic, the second one of his career after 2011 in Pittsburgh